It may be of no surprise to readers in the Memphis area that it is illegal to be involved in online child pornography. But readers may not know that such involvement can result in federal criminal charges. Recently, a sheriff’s deputy in another state was arrested on federal charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and producing child pornography by sexual exploitation of a child.

According to federal court documents, the accused was involved in trading sexually explicit images of a child over the Internet. Authorities claim the minor child involved in the matter was sexually abused by the sheriff’s deputy and taken to another state on one occasion where the accused allegedly produced child pornography. If convicted of these federal crimes, the accused could be ordered to pay up to a $250,000 maximum fine for each count and face life in prison.

Convictions in these kinds of cases can follow a person for the rest of their life. They can result in harsh penalties, which may include incarceration, fines and a criminal record. Being charged with a sex crime also requires that a person register as a sex offender, which can damage a person’s reputation and impair their chances of obtaining employment in certain fields or housing in certain areas. After being charged with federal crimes, carrying on with normal life can prove difficult.

With severe fines and penalties issued for charges of producing or distribution of child pornography, and similar offenses, it is important for those accused of these federal crimes to ensure that their rights are protected. Claims of exploiting children are taken seriously under Tennessee law, but like in any other criminal case, these defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

Source: Daily Herald, “McHenry County deputy now also facing child porn charges,” Paul Biasco, Aug. 14, 2012